Below is .an excerpt from an open Letter from Honorable Johnny Isakson, US Senator, Georgia, dated October 16th, 2009. Senator Isakson is the point man on Capiatl Hill for this important Legislation. He is also a Realtor. Please tell your Congressional Representatives to support his initiatives and do so NOW. This is very important to us all.
I am working every day to find a way to extend and expand the current first-time homebuyer tax credit, which is set to expire on November 30, 2009.
I plan to offer a homebuyer tax credit amendment to legislation extending unemployment benefits. My amendment would remove the first-time homebuyer requirement, extend the tax credit until June 30, 2010, and raise the income limits to $150,000 for an individual or $300,000 for a couple.
I will testify on Tuesday before the Senate Banking Committee on the state of our nation's housing market and the need to extend the homebuyer tax credit. After spending more than three decades in the real estate business, I understand the housing market and its critical role in our overall economy. The current first-time homebuyer tax credit has made a difference. First-time home buyers have used it and the market has stabilized slightly. The National Association of Realtors estimates that about 1.8 to 2.0 million first-time buyers will take advantage of the $8,000 tax credit this year, with approximately 350,000 additional sales that would not have taken place without the credit.
However, the real housing recession is not only with first-time home buyers. I believe we have a recession in the "trade-in" or "move-up" market in which citizens are putting off purchasing their next home. Today in the United States, one in two home sales is a short sale or a foreclosure. That is an unhealthy market, and Americans are still facing an illiquid housing market, a decline in their equity, a decline in their net worth and a depression in the housing market.
Home sales do more than simply stabilize the housing market. NAR research shows that each home sale at the median price in 2008 generated $63,260 of economic impact. I believe my amendment will swiftly help our economy get back on track.
The idea of expanding the current homebuyer tax credit has been endorsed by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, National Association of Realtors, Business Roundtable Housing Working Group and Mortgage Bankers Association.